Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hick: Movie Review

 

Loses the characters, the point and our interest long before the end.

I thought I was going to like “Hick”. Not because of Derick Martini’s “Lymelife” but because of the very under-appreciated “Jolene” and “Dirty Girl”. Where teenage girls make bad decisions (because they choose to or because they have to) and set out on a road trip. “Hick” should have been a dark comedy version of that and even with the 0% positive reviews on RottenTomatoes, I still thought I was going like it. 2011

Directed by: Derick Martini

Screenplay by: Andrea Portes

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Eddie Redmayne, Alec Baldwin, Blake Lively

After all, how can you go wrong with a mix of young cool actors, small town, big city, and drugs, sex and murder, and rock and roll too? Luli (Chloe Grace Moretz) receives a gun on her thirteenth birthday. At first she seemed apprehensive, but her mother and other random inappropriate men thought it was a great present, and then she started thinking how she could use it to act out her fantasies. She starts hitch-hiking to Las Vegas. Of all the problems “Hick” could have, I wasn’t expecting boring to be one of them. She basically meets two people on her road trip, neither of them were interesting at all.

First she meets Eddie (Eddie Redmayne), and while he seemed that he could be an intriguing character, his grating southern accent gets on nerves quicker than his brief introduction. Then she meets Glenda (Blake Lively) and with her drug addicted idiocy there was no reason to care about her.

Worse than the fact that Eddie and Glenda weren’t interesting or worthy of our sympathies, is that they were never created as fully-functional characters whom we could interpret their thoughts or actions. Since Luli was a teenage girl, it’s pretty easy to understand her. She wants to be told she’s beautiful. And that’s pretty much it, but that’s what the film gets right. She wants a world where she is more important than sex or drugs, and she’s going to use sex and drugs to get that even if she doesn’t want to.

There’s one point where Luli refers to Eddie as psychotic, and whether he is or not is besides the point to me, since the question of whether she is psychotic is more pressing. She has no concern over the consequences of her actions and what’s worse is that she doesn’t even give any thought to considering the concerns of the consequences of her actions. Later Eddie makes a remark about Glenda, to which Luli says that Glenda wouldn’t do that. Since we don’t know these characters, we don’t know what Glenda would have said or done and we also don’t know if Eddie would lie or not. Problems like this make scenes which should have interesting pay-offs pretty pointless.

Alec Baldwin was given the best lines – quirky, comedic one-liners that belie that severity of the situation, but good luck in sitting through the movie before you get there. Blake Lively has an extreme southern accent but I think she’s building herself a pretty expansive resume to be able to play any kind of character. If the character of Eddie was better written, I probably would have been impressed with Redmayne. But you will likely give up on the movie before you get his image from “My Week with Marilyn” out of your head. Which is too bad because the ending of “Hick” is fairly sweet, succinct and appropriate given everything that came before it, they just had no idea how to get there.


Recommended:

God Bless America (2011) - Hilarious cynicism so accurate and extreme that no target is left alive.

Jolene (2008) - An unforgettable journey of love, lust and crimes.

Dirty Girl (2010) - Embrace the dirty girl attitude, pack a suitcase, pop in a mixed tape and run away.